Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

Innovative network design

September 2008 Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

Industrial Ethernet in VW-Golf production.

Increasing expectations on the side of the consumer with regard to safety, environmental protection and comfort, combined with increasing pressure to cut costs poses challenges for the automobile industry. With regard to efficiency, transparency and magnitude, the Wolfsburg production line of the fifth Golf generation of Volkswagen sets new standards; an innovative Ethernet structure services the complete manufacturing facilities and offers increased saving potential. Wolfsburg is the main production location for the fifth Golf generation.

In its fifth generation, the Volkswagen Golf offers more than ever. The compact wagon is available with different types of drives, transmissions, engines, and equipment. But all models are the same concerning active and passive safety. The clear advantage with regard to car body stability and crash safety, which was awarded five stars in the Euro-NCAP-Test, is combined with significant weight optimisation. 140 special robots with a total of 70 metres of laser-welded seams provide body stiffness. The predecessor had only five metres.

Network diagram
Network diagram

Project parameters

In Wolfsburg, the largest vehicle/automobile plant in the world is combined with the largest production network in the world in the automobile construction industry. For decades the car has been the heart of the city's economy.

The seamless generation change enables the timely planning and completion of new production lines. In 2002, the most modern production plants in halls 1 (pressing plant), 3 and 4 (body shell work), 15b (paintshop), 54 (assembly) and 12 (discharge) were established. The production capacity of the Wolfsburg location covers 4000 vehicles per workday. Dynamics and transparency at all levels of the company must be ensured through realtime, constant communication.


Highlights of the chosen network architecture include:

* 16 modular backbone-switch MACH 3000 in redundant HIPER-ring structure span all halls throughout the production plants. For a clean IP-sub network structure in all areas of production, as well as the incorporation of the MACH 3000 systems in the communication network, enabled by redundantly connected M-Router modules. The Ethernet backbone for manufacturing of the body operates at Gigabit speed, using optical fibre for transmission.

* More than 1500 rail-switch systems, MICEswitches mainly MS2108 and MS3124, in over 100 HIPERrings, which are connected to the plant network via redundant optical fibres, link the cells and ensure the highest level of availability.


The scale of the system is illustrated by the fact that it has to cater for:

* 8000 operators.

* 1000 robots.

* 10 000 IP-addresses.

* 2900 cars/day.

* Laid LWL cable > 1000 km.

* Exchange and update of components during operation.

* High temperatures.

* High EMV.

* End-to-end management.

* Redundant network design.

* Possibility of simple diagnosis.

For more information contact Profitek Industrial Communication, +27 (0)12 664 4998,,


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